Skip to comments.Newt Gingrich says Rick Santorum wrong about Kennedy speech
Posted on 02/28/2012 7:43:43 PM PST by Red Steel
Gingrich and Santorum, each a Catholic seeking the GOP nomination, view Kennedys words differently. Santorum says he felt sick after reading Kennedys 1960 speech and believes it advocated absolute separation of church and state.
Gingrich calls it a "remarkable speech." He told Fox News Channel on Tuesday that Kennedy was reassuring voters that he wouldnt obey any foreign religious leader. Gingrich said Kennedy was declaring "that his first duty as president would be to do the job of president, and I think thats correct."
Gingrich does share Santorums position on President Barack Obama
(Excerpt) Read more at bostonherald.com ...
I wish we could combine Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich into one person.
I like that idea. Santorum was wrong on Kennedy’s speech though; he has since expressed regret for his comment.
Kennedy was fighting quite a bit of anti-Catholic sentiment in the election. The accusations that he would be taking orders from Rome were rampant. The speech did its job and even though there were things to quibble over it was a decent speech to allay the fears of a foreign influence over the White House, especially considering the time.
Santorum’s response has been way over the top.
That said, Kennedy proved he was CINO (like all Democrats) and the world might have been a much better place if Nixon won.
Revolutionary era concepts of what an “established religion” would be were a far, far cry from the way the issue is viewed today. The revolutionary era ideal was that no denomination of Christian church would get the special blessing of Washington. Generic Judeo-Christianity and direct biblical teaching were not even considered controversial. In a country which emerged crying “we have no king but Jesus” that made eminent sense. Now it’s like “we have no king but worldly trends.”
But anyhow. Newt’s view isn’t the most important controversy between Gingrich and Santorum. If anything it seems to hark back to the more purist “we have no king but Jesus.” We respect the pope but he won’t be permitted to dictate American policy and if he tries to use a president to that end then that president will resign rather than be an instrument for that. Showing Newt’s Baptist roots?
The free exercise clause is more than free speech: it allows free participation in the civil life of a country.All the rights listed after the free exercise clause and all the rights of private association.
I prefer Newt just as he is.
I didn’t realize until this evening that I have become addicted to FR. It was difficult doing without it most of yesterday and all of today as I was otherwise occupied attending two of Newt’s events in Nashville and then driving the two hundred miles back to Mississippi yesterday. Today I thought we’d been shut down. rollwage doesn’t fully understand my preoccupation with FR but I’m sure she will when she retires in a few weeks.
We attended the Healthcare Roundtable at the Baker, Donelson law firm and the Rally on the steps of the Tennessee Capitol. Newt was great at both events. He discussed as did the panelist the effects of obamacare on the healthcare industry and what should be done when obamacare is removed. At the Capitol he spoke primarily about gasoline and energy and his own way describes how and why we are where we are and what we need to do about it. Problems identified, solutions proposed.
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Newt doesnt know the mind of the audience that Kennedy was addressing as well as I do. He needs to read the back issues of the Baptist Standard I read them when they were first published.
I’ve talked to people close to me that stated it was to assure people that the vatican wouldn’t be running the country.
Kennedy actually did better with protestants in 1960 than Democrats had done in a while, Kennedy got 43% of the protestant vote.
America would be a truly great nation today, with a great future if Kennedy had lost that election, no Vietnam, no 1960s, no LBJ, no Immigration and multiculturalism and on and on and on.
You have to read the speech in the light of the present situation. Separation of Church and States was made a shibboleth by Hugo Black, an anti-Catholic southern Protestant when he used the term in the Everson case. Now it has taken on a meaning that also excludes the Baptists, who were among the original separatists under the Tudors and Stuarts. Our elites then were Protestant; now they are agnostics and secularists, more like the Jacobins of the French Revolutionary period.
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You are absolutely correct. I remember the 1960 election and the noxious idea that a Roman Catholic should never be elected to the Presidency because he would take orders from the Pope .
In fact, I was enraged when the Rector of my church (Episcopal) stood in the pulpit and preached against electing Kennedy on those very grounds.
No, it was to convince voters though a Catholic would keep the pope—and the bishops— at a further remove than he would Billy Graham. ( Graham was opposed to him). The whole Establishment was hostile to Catholicism, chiefly because of the post-war growth of the Church in wealth and numbers. This included,liberals as well as Fundamentalists. Mrs Roosevelt had engaged in a rather hot public dispute with Cardinal Spellman over the issue of aid to parochial schools no many years before. What Kennedy did was a political tactic, and most Catholics thought of it as such. They realized that Kennedy was no position to help them , at least until he won re-election. What has happened, of course, is that his concession to public opinion became a precedent that allowed Catholic pols to take their personally opposed stance on abortion, for instance.
It was originally intended to apply to all religions, including Baptists. Black got the phrase from Jefferson, who wrote in a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802:
... I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.
I disagree. The face-value contentof that speech is secularism. It rejects not only the political authority of the pope but the dictates of a conscience formed by the teachings of the Church when they conflict with public opinion. I am relying on what I recall from what I read in the Baptist Standard 62 years ago, but I think that the editorial said pretty much that. Criswell, or his editor, was no fool.
That was what I was told by people that voted in that election. I was only 5. This angle that Santorum put out there/intrepeted is the first time I’ve ever heard that. Robby S is in disagreement.
The term had special meaning to those Baptists. It meant THEY should not have to pay tithes to the established church of Connecticut.
More than that,of course. It was like the common reference to a hedge around the liberties of the Church. In principle ,it goes back to magna carta, whose first Article guarantees the liberties of the Church of England.
Santorum can see how such people as Chris Matthews interpret it. I see it as a Catholic who grew up in East Texas. I was out of college by the time.
Whatever subtext Kennedy may have had in mind is irrelevant today. Only the words remain.
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I wish Santorum would drop out of the race. He is not the right man for the job. Gingrich would be far better as president than the rest of the field. I don't care about winning if winning leads to nothing.
What is ambiguous about "...the separation of church and state is absolute." More to the point where does that appear in the Constitution of the United States?
I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute, where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference; and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.
What does any of that have to do with Hugo Blacks 1947 majority opinion (5-4) in the Everson case? What part of it would you disagree with?
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You agree with that statement?
I don't think any religious institution should receive taxpayer's dollars for anything and I think any religious institution who accepts them is foolish and deserves to be politician-whipped.
I agree with that statement.
Leaving aside Kennedy’s own behavior and belief system, in 1960 there was enormous anti-Catholic bigotry in this country. People were afraid if they voted for a Catholic and he was elected, he’d be calling Rome before he took action as POTUS. May sound silly now, but it’s what many, many people believed back then.
“... I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.”
That is a one-way wall. It specifically limits government from establishing a religion, and from interfering in any way with the free exercise of religion. It did NOT, in any way, prevent churches from trying, say, to end racial discrimination.
It is like driving down the road, with a dashed yellow line on the ‘church’ side, and a solid yellow line on the ‘government’ side of the road.
Jefferson may not have agreed with that concept, but it is undoubtedly what was passed and ratified by the states.
Just dont call it constitutionalism. BTW, Levins book is an easy read. His bete noir is Statism. Many liberal Catholics have taken Kennedys speech as their lodestone, which is an American first, a Christian second.
I think it aligns with Founding principles to say that no president should be taking orders on policy from anyone. As for religious leaders telling their flocks how to vote I don’t think they should but I think they can if they want to. I don’t think Kennedy had any law against it in mind either. I think the same is true regarding funding of religious institutions. It’s not un-Constitutional (IMO) but (IMO) it’s a bad idea for both parties.
Agreed. Or affecting politics.
Well, I agree that he who sups with the devil should use a long spoon. Cardinal Wolsey, who was Henry VIIIs Lord Chancellor, is famous for his words, something like I should have served Christ as loyally as I did my king. No man shall try to wall away his principles from his actions. We are bound to act in obedience to our consciences.
I have never heard that one. I like that a lot. I agree with all you said there. If I'm having trouble seeing the distinctions in meaning you are describing from JFK,s words I think that makes the point I really had in mind. Santorum really stepped in it by expecting any but a few to appreciate what he had in mind.
So it owuld be unconstitutional for Priests, Rabbis and Pastors to serve in public office? Unconstitutional toput crosses on graves in Veterans Cemetaries? Unconstitutional for faith based organizations to bid on and receive government contracts?
You should read some of my other posts here. Might help.
Maybe but you could simply say that agreeing with the statement that “the separation of church and state is absolute” is not only bs but unconstitutional as well. And that would be the truth.
I already expounded on that in #28 and #29. You might also read my defense of Judge Roy Moore on my profile page. I spent a lot of time and effort defending him when that topic was hot.
>> Gingrich does share Santorums position on President Barack Obama
A bone for the clueless.
Well, Santorum is a Catholic who—unlike Kennedy— sees the consequence of what Kennedy said. Gene McCarthy, a Catholic liberal, took his faith as seriously as Santorum does. He would be amused by what all the Catholic pols such as Pelosi and Biden are saying today.
True but that won’t help Santorum much with the vast majority of the electorate who don’t know any of that and don’t care.
Newt is of course right. His position is in line with the US Constitution: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;
The president, government and Congress have no say on citizens' freedom of religion and its practice. That's how the Founding Fathers worded it in the Bill of Rights and that's how it must remain. Any intervention in citizens' right to practice the religion of their choice or coerce them to do things against their personal religious beliefs (like Obama tries to do) is UNCONSTITUTIONAL.
>> No,Kennedy was pandering.
In general SCS is a fallacy, a meaningless steaming pile of nothing.
Any and all matters concerning legitimate and so-called legitimate religions are set forth in the initial wording of the Bill of Rights. And there’s more in the Bill of Rights to protect the citizens from the depravity that masquerades as religion.
Yes, JFK was pandering, it was quite abrasive given the era.